Carlos Sainz Jnr, Landio Norris, McLaren, Albert Park, 2019

Norris and Sainz to remain at McLaren in 2020

2020 F1 season

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McLaren has confirmed an unchanged driver line-up for the 2020 F1 season.

Lando Norris, who has impressed in his first season for the team, will continue with them for a second season. Carlos Sainz Jnr was already known to be on a multi-year contract.

Norris has been part of McLaren’s young driver development programme since February 2017. He has contributed 22 of the team’s 52 points so far this year.

“Today’s announcement provides the team with the continuity to keep pushing forward,” said team principal Andreas Seidl.

“The performance of both Carlos and Lando have been a key part of the team’s progress. Their feedback has enabled our engineers to develop the MCL34 and look ahead to the MCL35.

“Carlos has played a key role in developing the car using his experience, while Lando has got up to speed with the demands of Formula 1 incredibly quickly and is growing in confidence every weekend. This is welcome news for the whole McLaren team and we look forward to continuing our partnership together.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said the pair are “proving themselves as racers and are integral to our path to recovery”.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Norris and Sainz to remain at McLaren in 2020”

  1. Happy for Norris. I may have found my next favourite driver. I kind of like McLaren, too. (considering they were “enemy” between 1998 and 2012, it is strange :))

  2. I hope this isn’t a false dawn. Being a McLaren fan has been rather difficult for much of this decade. I desperately hope they can continue to improve.

    1. Sonny Crockett
      10th July 2019, 0:01

      Being a McLaren fan too, it’s been a tough few years.

      In Lando and Carlos we have two talented drivers who are more than capable of taking the team forward. In Lando I think we have a future champion.

  3. Good news. Absolutely nothing wrong with that line-up.

  4. Goodbye Alonso, welcome future.
    Good to see McLaren back on track. Long way to go, but the foundation and the driver choices are solid.

    1. It took a whole 4 comments for the first anti-Alonso comment to pop up.
      A quite large number considering the context, but an excessively small one in the grand scheme of things.

      1. I’m just gonna say ‘Alonso’ here and skew the figures a little.

      2. @nase

        Why so touchy over your hero? Alonso is more than capable of speaking up for himself, if he needs to. So far he’s said nothing.

        McLaren have got a couple of drivers who do all their talking on the track, not chasing the press to promote their own business.

        1. @ Jon Bee

          Why so touchy over your hero?

          Ah, the good old “You said something vaguely negative about X, who said something vaguely negative about Y. Therefore, you must be Y’s biggest fan and physically incapable of conceiving a single vaguely negative thought about Y, however obvious they may be. Here, let me brief you on the subject” argument. Haven’t heard that in, like, 4 comments.

          Also: Missing the point. Why did he have to bring him up at all, when this article is dedicated two two drivers that aren’t Alonso? You know, that Alonso, who, as you rightly said, has said nothing. Which, by the way, is not quite the same thing “chasing the press to promote his own business”. But whatever.

          1. Why did he have to bring him up at all,

            he.. he, that’s me.
            Alonso is/was way to important for McLaren. He thinks he is the greatest and his actions and verbal pressure are to much for a team struggling to compete.
            With Alonso, Mclaren had no future . To expensive, to much ego to…. etc..
            And the McLaren factory is surrounded with water and Alonso likes to burn bridges ;)’

      3. Alonso is my favorite driver, and yet even I see no point in him rejoining McLaren. Neither he nor the team would have anything to gain from it.

        1. @aesto
          I’m not quite sure McLaren wouldn’t have anything to gain from it. Sainz and Norris are fine drivers who have performed really well thus far. But then again, Alonso has a history of making fine drivers look pedestrian. In other words, I’m fairly sure having Alonso in the cockpit would result in a short-term benefit. However, McLaren are looking ahead, and rightly so, and in that respect their decision of continuing with two young, promising drivers whose peak potential is yet to come makes more sense than with a driver who definitely won’t be around anymore in 5 years or so.
          (Leaving aside the fact that, despite their improvements, they’re still nowhere near the level of performance Alonso has repeatedly stated as a prerequisite)

          1. True.
            Also with Alonso you get a true giant whose presence alone can intimidate the other driver. It needs to be a strong driver to keep up to him like Lewis did for example.
            Now they have 2 equal drivers who both bring in the points, that normally only Alonso alone brought in. So even though they are not at his level, combined they are.
            Im a huge Alonso fan but I guess this is also something Mclaren needed, same as it was also necessary to break up with Honda.

          2. Lets be honest about it, Alonso is undoubtedly a great, great racing driver. Unfortunately he is also a destructive force within the teams he drives for. Ever since that world championship win in 2005 there follows a litany of teams whose morale was inevitably crushed by either scandal or his public and private polemics. Management restructure after management restructure wherever he went.

            Interestingly though, the only person in recent years to out shine Alonso is arguably Lando Norris at Daytona. McLaren have a good driver pairing going forward, a solid base pairing to build on and a true future star (I believe) in Lando Norris. Sainz is pretty handy too ;)

  5. Putting them together was a great move and they’d be mad to break up a partnership that clearly works. Watching them in interviews it’s clear they’re happy working as a team and that’s critical for Mclaren to drag themselves back up the ranks.

  6. I imagine Hamilton said Steph Curry, not Seth Curry? Or was he actually referring to Steph’s younger brother? ;)

    1. Oh, wrong page! If only I had an edit button, I could rewrite it to be something about McLaren and save myself the embarrassment…

    2. No worries, @makzastrow , nobody saw it :D

  7. Looking at where Norris and Russel are at the moment, it’s hard not to feel bad for George. He beat Norris in F2, but got the shorter straw in F1 with no real chance of stepping up to a better team anytime soon (given his ties with Mercedes). Lando, on the other hand, has a car that is “best-of-rest” for most races and getting faster each weekend – both him and the car.

    1. Maybe, but to be fair, previous accomplishment dont really mean much in F1. We have seen alot of “great” drivers fail in F1 while some “lesser” ones performed really well.
      And Russel still has a good chance to move up. Even Alonso started at Minardi ;)

    2. His “ties” to Mercedes likely helped get him the Williams seat, there’s a lot of talent who never get that far. F2 is simply a stepping stone and point builder for a superlicense, just out of interest who was the last world champion crowned who came from F2 (or equivalent) as the winner.

      1. To answer my own question it was Hamilton and Rosberg lol

  8. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    10th July 2019, 11:01

    Have to admit I’ve never been a fan of McLaren, but since these two have been there I’ve found myself really enjoying watching them. Sainz is pretty good and Norris is suprisingly brilliant. Bit of a fan of Norris now.

  9. A pointless not only news, but announcement as well since this was a given already. It was 100% guaranteed that both of them would remain at the team until the end of 2020 following the respective confirmations last August and September.

  10. I wish they could stay with McLaren for at least 4-5 years. A stable driver line-up is a key to progress and McLaren has been changing their drivers too much recently. 7 different drivers in 2013-2019 compared to 9 in 1996-2012 period (minus Alex Wurz, racing just in a single Grand Prix). I hope they’ll stay as long as it’s possible and beneficial for both the team and the drivers.

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